Group Chat for the Google Talk Gadget

We use Google Talk all the time at work to chat with people on our team. It can sometimes be limiting, though, when you want to include multiple people in the conversation, like you can on an email thread or a conference call. That's why we're really excited to announce a new feature for the Google Talk Gadget: group chat. Now, for instance, when the two of us are chatting about an upcoming launch, and we've heard that Seth knows the latest, we can just invite him to join our chat.

To start a group chat, launch the Google Talk Gadget here, and start a chat with one of your friends. Click on the button at the top of the chat window that says "Group Chat," and then pick the name of the third (or fourth, or fifth...) friend you want to invite from the drop-down menu. They'll receive an invitation to join the group chat. If your friends are using Gmail chat or the downloadable Google Talk client, their invitation will launch the Google Talk Gadget.

Rhett Robinson and Qi Ke
Software Engineers

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How are you using Talk?

We focus a lot in this blog on the features we're adding to Google Talk and the technology behind them. But I wanted to share a bit about our users and what they're doing with Google Talk.

As a member of the Google Talk support team, my day is usually busy reading emails reporting issues, troubleshooting, and generally learning about what's up with Google Talk users and how we can make their experience better. Mixed in to the grab bag of technical issues are bits and blurbs from users who can't get enough of Google Talk. Nothing makes my day more than hearing from Google Talk users who enjoy using the product to keep in touch with their friends, families, classmates, fellow online gamers, and business partners. It's inspiring to be a part of something that helps make the world a smaller place.

Reading stories from avid Google Talkers has made me think twice about ways to use the product. Some users have come up with creative ways to help communicate with their contacts and loved ones:

"I'm an exchange student here in Monterrey, Mexico. I'm originally from France and two months ago I left my family and my loved one there. What I like about Google Talk is the MP3 message you get in your Gmail address when someone leaves you a voicemail. You see, my girlfriend works during the day, and with the time difference it's sometimes hard to stay the phone for a long time. So when she's sleeping and I, on the other end of the planet, am not, I leave her Google Talk messages and she listens to them at work during the day, while I am asleep. Also, she can transfer the MP3 messages on her USB device at work and take them home to listen to me if she misses me or she can just connect back to her email address and I'm there! In a way Google Talk helps us keep up our relationship and reduces a bit of the awful distance that separates us." -Olivier, Monterrey, Mexico.

"I am hard-of-hearing and in my daily work activities, and I conduct or
participate in meetings in the form of teleconferences. I dial in on my
desk phone, but I still need help understanding the others on the line, so
I use the Google Talk client for Blackberry.

That's not all. My wife is deaf and she is from an all deaf family. We
keep in touch with each other by using Google Talk for the Blackberry (like
hearing couples tend to use their cell phones) and keep in touch with deaf
family members and many of our deaf friends, no matter which IM client
they choose." - Steve, Dunbar, IA

I also love to read about the zany and fun things people are doing with Google Talk:

"I talk to my 1 year old niece on Google Talk. She lives in North Dakota and I am in Michigan.

She often says things like: jk[-;p//om90, or: .........ff.;;..;. ycv?"C( cc96? C9(?C'?(( (?(?9'"

It is very fun to talk to her via Google Talk. I hear that she runs
upstairs to the computer and says 'Lee lee' (her name for me) when she
hears the incoming chat sound." -Leigh, Commerce, MI

"I met my girlfriend in Abu Dhabi, UAE when I had gone back for my summer vacation. When I came back to the United States to complete my undergrad education, I didn't want to lose contact with her. We speak day and night through Google Talk. I can't count the number of times I've fallen asleep to wake up in the morning with the headset still on my head, and still connected to her." - Carnik, Abu Dhabi, UAE

If you have a story of your own, let us know!

Iris Lu
Online Sales & Ops Coordinator

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